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Youth questions Mamata, gets answer this time

Youth questions Mamata, gets answer this time

Mamata was addressing a rally in Krishnanagar when the young man asked her about rising fertiliser prices.

Krishnanagar (West Bengal): After all the flak she drew the last time she got a man arrested for publicly questioning her government's policies, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday chose to answer a similar question raised by a young man at a rally.

"The subject is not in our control. It is a central subject, so only the central government can do something about it. In my last visit to Delhi, I asked the government and the prime minister to control prices," Banerjee said when a youth shouted to her a query about rising fertiliser prices.

Banerjee has embarked on a five-day tour of six districts beginning with Nadia. She was addressing a rally in Krishnanagar when the young man in the crowd asked her the question.

Far from being infuriated, as in the past on such occasions, the chief minister asked the farmers to complain against black marketeers, assuring them that the government would act against the guilty.

At a rally in in Belpahari in West Midnapore district Aug 8, Shiladitya Chowdhury, a marginal farmer, said to the chief minister, "Farmers are dying because they have no money. Empty promises are not enough. What are you doing for farmers?"

Stunned by the question, an angry Banerjee branded the farmer a "Maoist" and asked the police to nab him as he was "intentionally disrupting the rally".

Chowdhury was detained and taken for interrogation by the police.

Though allowed to go that day, he was later arrested. He was remanded to 14 days' judicial custody before being granted bail.

first published:August 30, 2012, 09:52 IST